We have worked on lots of residential arts projects, since we started working together around 15 years ago. The Grange day centre is probably one of the most interesting and at the same time one of the most challenging.
Carving 2 sets of double doors for the main hall sounds a very straightforward task for any practicing sculptor. Gathering information to design the structure and decoration through workshops is so much more complex.
I have spent four weeks so far getting to know people at the centre. It is difficult to encourage people to take part in an activity like woodcarving because it appears to be a very skilled activity and the majority of people will not have experienced it before. Gaining confidence is the most important part of carving and once this was overcome everyone seemed to roll up their sleeves and really enjoyed the experience.
At first I wondered how difficult it would be to glean information from the people that I was working with, in terms of research and ideas, I shouldn’t have doubted, it has already been an enlightening experience. Thanks to the work done on previous arts projects, many of the people that I have met, already had expectations of me and had a fair idea of the way things worked. There is a wealth of ideas, knowledge and stories to use as research information; we are looking forward to the year ahead, confident that we will have considerable input into a beautiful piece of work.